Host City: Lillehammer, Norway
Venue(s): Birkebeineren Ski Stadium, Lillehammer; LysgÃ¥rdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena, Lillehammer
Date Started: February 23, 1994
Date Finished: February 24, 1994
Format: Normal hill ski jumping and 3 x 10 kilometre relay skiing; placements determined by points table. Three members per team, with all ski jump scores to count towards team total. Pursuit-style cross-country relay race, with skiers leaving in order of their finish in the ski jumping, so that final placement determined by final placement in cross-country ski race.
Japan had won the 1992 gold medal and was an easy victor at the 1993 World Championships, giving them the favoriteâs role in Lillehammer. And they did not disappoint. The Japanese strength was jumping, and if the event were an individual competition, Japan would have had three of the top five positions (1-3-5) among the 36 jumpers. Their lead going into the relay was 5:07 over Norway and 7:30 over Switzerland. The competition for gold was over. France won the relay portion of the event, placing 1:40.9 ahead of Norway, but Japan was only another 18 seconds back in third, winning the gold medal by a 4:49.1 margin. Norway and Switzerland maintained their positions from the jumping, taking the silver and bronze medals, respectively. Japanâs victory in 1994 and its equally dominant win at the 1993 World Championships would lead to a change in the rules for the Nordic combined team event. Beginning with the 1995 World Championships the team event would consist of four athletes, with all scores counting in the jumping, and the relay changed to a 4 x 5 km race.